BlackBerry compass
BlackBerry compass

Lost in the woods? Your religion requires you to pray to the East or to Mecca? Maybe you really just couldn’t navigate yourself out of a paper bag. In any case, there is hope for you BlackBerry 7 users out there. The BlackBerry 7 Torch and Bold series smartphones are equipped with digital compasses (or magnetometers) which can sense the earth’s magnetic field and point the way north (and also to the nearest McDonald’s in combination with a GPS).

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But how do we use it? For most people, it should either be directly on your homescreen or in a folder. If there’s not a “Compass” icon on your homescreen, fear not, you can search for it using universal search. Check it out!

Once you’d found it. Feel free to open up the app. You’ll see a white compass, your GPS position (might take a few seconds to show up), and your direction you’re pointing relative to North (heading). You’ll probably be asked to calibrate your compass (perhaps multiple times) by flipping it around a lot. It might take quite a few seconds to calibrate, but I find that doing a backflip followed by a sideways flip and repeating gets it to work in no time. Once it vibrates, its ready to go!

Simple enough? Well, there’s more! If you’ve got a data connection, you can even navigate to any point in the world.

Say, I’m lost in a Walmart in Ottawa and I needed to find my way to New York City (it could happen). Simply press the BlackBerry Button to bring up the menu, or press the trackpad button, or tap the compass. You’ll see an option called “Set Destination”.

Navigate yourself to where you need to go on the map and select a location with the trackpad or the touchscreen. Select the location to confirm it and the compass will be updated to guide you in that direction.

You’ll see a light blue dot indicating the direction of your destination. And that’s all there is to it Team BlackBerry! Happy navigating!